BOTETOURT CO., Va. – If you've recently tried to rent or sell a house in the lower Botetourt County area you may know that it's a hot market. In 2017, the county set a goal to build affordable housing for new jobs coming to town and IT IS making some progress.
Developers in Botetourt County are making big leaps with new projects, and the county is halfway to its goal of 1,000 new units. The units are being build quickly as possible.
Thousands of people are expecting to move to lower Botetourt County in the coming years. But at the moment, the county doesn't have very many places for them to live and what is available isn't always at the right price.
"We have a need for additional housing in Botetourt County to accommodate our workforce that is growing rapidly," Botetourt County Economic Development Director Ken McFadyen said. "Since 2015, we've had about 17% growth in the number of jobs here in the community."
In 2017, the county brought all the pieces of the real estate puzzle together for a housing summit. County leaders set a goal of 1,000 new units mixed between apartments and townhomes. Now, a little more than a year later, four projects, totaling 500 new units, have been approved by the planning commission, and leaders are impressed with how quickly it has happened.
"We've exceeded expectations and I think we did a good job in March of 2017 at the housing summit of managing expectations as to how long this could take. We simply didn't know," McFadyen said. "The development of housing, as it is with anything else with economic development, is dependent upon factors that are way beyond our control at the national and global level."
The developments are planned across the lower part of the county. Daleville Town Center, which was one of the original new developments in the area, will be adding 124 new units. The largest of this latest round of building will go in at Botetourt Commons, totaling 266 units. There are 36 lots approved for development near the county line, off Sanderson Drive. Finally, there are 74 more units slated for development off Cloverdale Road.
With two people on average in each unit, that's up to 1,000 possible new Botetourt County residents. In due time, they'll be ready to move on up.
"The next step is the planing and zoning department is investigating and encouraging single-family home development, which would be (home) ownership," McFadyen said.
McFadyen said there is even more on the horizon as developers continue to work toward the goal. He said there are even more units in the development pipeline that may soon be approved for construction by the county.